03/05/2012 01:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Ending Poverty in Our Time (VIDEO)

Hearing about the injustice and suffering in our world can be overwhelming. The problems seem so insurmountable. Is it really possible to make a difference? Well, here's some good news. We already are making a big difference.

Consider these statistics cited by Dr. Scott Todd from 58:

We used to say that 40,000 children die each day from preventable causes. In the 1990s, that number dropped to 33,000 per day. By 2008, it dropped again to 24,000. Now it is down to 21,000. That means that in a generation we cut that number in half.

1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty today. That's a staggering amount, but let's put those numbers in perspective: In 1981 52 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty. Today it's 26 percent. Again, that means we have cut the number in half, and we did it in one generation. Now imagine what we can do in our generation!

Now, if you are anything like me then your reaction to poverty is a mixture of compassion and helplessness. So first of all, I hope you are as encouraged as I was to learn that we really are making a difference. For probably the first time in history it is realistic to say that we can end extreme global poverty.

That is an amazing opportunity, but it will only happen if we all get involved. If we use our intelligence, our money and our influence to make a difference. It will only happen If we are willing to make some sacrifices in the name of compassion.

So check out the video below, and then head over to 58: Fast Forward. The End of Poverty to see some ways you can get involved.